“THAT’S the basic premise,” said Robert Glenister. “But I don’t understand it.”
He was explaining to me one of the plots in the new series of Hustle.
“I have to read it about three times before I understand it.”
Patricia Hodge guest stars in tonight’s episode as a ruthless nursing home owner who likes to rob elderly people and steals from charities.
So, naturally, she’s a perfect mark for the Hustle gang.
Robert was once married to New Tricks and At Home With The Braithwaites actress Amanda Redman.
And it was Amanda who encouraged his younger brother – Life On Mars star Philip Glenister – to follow Robert into acting.
It’s always a pleasure to interview either of the two brothers, and it would be interesting to see them cast together in a future TV project.
For the moment, Philip, 44, is getting ready to film Life On Mars spin-off Ashes To Ashes, once he’s finished work on new TV period drama Cranford and another project (see footnote).
And Robert, 47, continues to impress as Ash Morgan in series four of the BBC1 hit.
“I think it does what it says on the tin,” he said when we met on location.
“People talk about it being implausible. Well, of course it is. We’re not doing Play For Today.
“It’s entertaining and has a glamour that maybe a lot of worthy television, perhaps, doesn’t have. It’s something different. It’s not a cop or a hospital show. And it’s paying homage to seventies’ telly.
“I think it’s got a wide-ranging appeal. Because of Robert Vaughn, it appeals to an older age group who remember The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
“And for a younger generation it’s just slick entertainment. We’ve got a young teenage audience. They love it.
“There’s something for everybody.”
Not that Robert has any delusions about being anything other than an actor.
“I’d be a terrible con man. I’d just get shifty. I couldn’t look people in the eye.
“The whole point of being convicing is that you can just lie through your teeth and look at someone while you’re doing it. I couldn’t do it at all.
“But every time you get into a cab or you give somebody a credit card or a coin, they bite it. It’s nice. It means people are watching it.
“We con people because they’re unpleasant. There is a Robin Hood quality about this.
“The only difference is that we don’t give the money away, we keep it.”
*Hustle’s Ashley Walters, who joined the cast last week as Billy Bond, is currently filming a new British film called Tuesday. Described as a “bank heist thriller set in the 1980s”, it also features Philip Glenister and his Life On Mars co-star John Simm. Click here for more.
Hustle: The Con Is Back On
Jaime And The Magic Touch
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Hustle BBC Site